Things You MUST DO in Sydney

Published: July 16, 2019.
Written by: Sawyer - Destination Specialist, Calgary

From the city’s award-winning restaurants, stunning coastlines, public gardens, sun-drenched and unspoilt beaches and incredible opera performances, Sydney will forever be a box to be ticked on the itineraries of many Canadian travellers when planning a visit to Australia.  There are a variety of experiences you can enjoy in this stunning harbour city and below are my top picks on making this your best Sydney adventure!


Sydney Opera House Tour, Show & Tasting Plate – You can’t simply head all the way to Sydney without checking out a performance!  Check out what’s playing beforehand, or connect with one of our destination experts on booking a performance ahead of time when you plan your vacation itinerary.  And while you’re in town visiting this world-renowned site, why not schedule a tour followed by a gourmet meal?  We recommend you start your show day with a guided tour of the world heritage listed building where you will get to see inside the theatres and stunning glassed harbour foyers, which are otherwise off-limits.  After your tour, enjoy a tasting plate consisting of a sumptuous three-tiered sample menu, at the Opera Kitchen.  I highly recommend the full experience as it really allows travellers to feel the whole enchantment of the Sydney Opera House!


Blue Mountains Day Tour – You’ll be picked up from your Sydney hotel first thing in the morning and your luxury small coach will journey into a unique World Heritage Region filled with wildlife, beauty and incredible scenery!  On your way to Blue Mountains, through many picturesque villages, your tour will stop along the way at various points of interests such as Calmsley Hill, a working farm that happens to be home to Kangaroos, Emus, Wombats and Koalas and of course, various lookout points like Govett’s Leap and Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens all while learning about unique Australian forest species.  These tours often include both a guide and lunch.  This experience in Sydney is very Instagram-worthy!


Guided tour to see the best of Sydney & surrounds – This half-day guided tour of the city’s Downtown area, which includes visiting the famous Bondi Beach, is a perfect option for those looking for a quick but thorough introduction to Sydney! On this tour, you’ll journey through the historic Rocks area as well as take in views of other key locations such as Hyde Park, St Mary’s Cathedral, Parliament House and the Art Gallery. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is great for magnificent views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.


Captain Cook Cruises – This is a scenic dinner cruise that offers you gorgeous views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge from the calm waters of the harbour.  In addition to the scenic views, you’ll enjoy a signature delicious a la carte dining experience! Other features include a 360 degree open star deck, private dining rooms, and great live music and dancing!  You’ll also get a fantastic view no matter where you’re sitting on the boat!


Walking Tour of the Rocks – this is an excellent way to see and learn about the historic Rocks area.  This tour is very informative, complete with super-skilled and friendly local tour guides who touch on the charming heritage-listed precinct.  You’ll be entertained by some of the accounts of Sydney’s colourful past as well as its cosmopolitan present times.   You’ll then explore the sandstone heritage through hidden narrow back alleys, shady courtyards, and cobblestone lanes as well as some of the city’s oldest dwellings and the gothic Garrison Church. A great way to stretch your legs after your flight!


Wine Tasting at Hunter Valley – With over 120 wineries, gourmet restaurants and spa retreats, the Hunter Valley is Sydney’s playground at just a two-hour drive north of the city.  Sample a wide variety of wines, or you can join a tasting masterclass, wine creating course or even participate in a cooking class for a hands-on learning experience using local organic produce and hosted by an Executive Chef and his team.  Escape the city and stay overnight at a country inn or lodge nestled on large acres of land complete with 50 year old Shiraz vineyards! And more than gourmet food and vineyards, activities in this region include golfing, hot air ballooning as well as segway tours and electric bike hires to explore the vast open area.


Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge – Choice to do either the full climb of half climb.  I was brave enough to do the full climb and on my way up my tour guide gave me great insight and stories on the history of this bridge.  Of course, the views you get while climbing are truly incredible – it’s exactly opposite of the Sydney Opera House.  This is truly an incredible experience and quite the accomplishment at that!  No worries if you aren’t daring enough to climb the bridge, you can still get great views from the Pylon Lookout.     oldest wine growing region



Written By: Sawyer (Destination Specialist)

I’ve traveled to Australia and the city of Sydney has given me some great experiences and I’ve made many friends there!  Let me help add many of these experiences to your Sydney itinerary!

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